Of all the stupid things Bud Selig has brought to Major League Baseball (shiny toupees and used-car-dealer suits on national TV during the home run derby among them), determining which team gets home-field advantage for the league’s championship by using the outcome of an exhibition game has got to be one of the dumbest.
There are a few other things that could use a tweaking or revamping. Like the every team must be represented rule. If the fans won’t come out to support the Devil Rays or Pirates when they’re at home, why should those watching the All-Star Game be forced to cheer for Danys Baez during the player introductions? Of course, they barely did that tonight. When Baez’s name was announced, there was clapping. And nothing else. No elevated cheers — not even boos. They don’t care. The Devil Rays are the girlfriend the fans don’t want to admit they dated, like a phase Bud went through in the mid-90s when he reasoned that just because there was a mauseleum available in St. Petersburg, it should have a baseball team playing there.
Also — and I didn’t see any violators this year — players must only wear their team’s home whites or road grays in the All-Star Games. No alternate jerseys. No blue Indians tops, no black on anyone except the t-shirts of the White Sox, Diamondbacks, Pirates, etc.
This is the only time, place, dimension I’d ever say this — use the DH. In both leagues. There’s absolutely no reason to adhere to the NL rules where pitchers bat in the All-Star Game. If there’s a rule in spring training where teams can use the DH in an NL park if both teams agree and the commissioner’s office approves it (which there is), why the heck isn’t there one for this? What’s the point of putting Roger Clemens’ name in the No. 9 spot when there’s no conceivable way he’d actually put on a helmet? This is something they should seriously look into before next year, when the game is in Pittsburgh and then San Francisco the following summer.
It’s 8:37. Rumor is the game will be starting in the next 25 minutes. Which is another point: no game of any import — All-Star or postseason — should start later than 8:15. I’ll give them that late. What’s more important to the advertisers? Having the West Coasters at 5:45 or 6 p.m. and losing the East Coasters at 11, or having everyone tuned in for the duration?
I’m sure some more things will come to mind over the next four hours.